Saving money should be a priority. Right…?
The reality is, most people don’t even have a $1000 emergency fund. Two very real reasons for this is
1) not understanding the importance of budgeting and
2) an unwillingness to make sacrifices for the sake of convenience and instant gratification.
But if you could save thousands of dollars every year on things you don’t need? Wouldn’t you do it?
So this year, don’t spend any more weekends watching Netflix. Get off your butt and finance your dreams of seeing the world! Stop living paycheck to paycheck. Get rid of debt and get out of the rat race. These are 18 things to stop wasting your money on so you can start LIVING.
1. Annual gym pass
Save money on the membership and the gas required to get there. Forget the treadmill and take a jog around your neighborhood or local park instead. You’ll appreciate the breath of fresh air and it’ll be better than breathing gym sweat.
For strength training, invest in weights.
Coffee is not cheap, especially if you buy one every day. At around $5 a cup, you can spend up to $1,200 every year – for CONVENIENCE. Revamp your morning routine and brew your own cup at home.
Brewing your own coffee costs only 27 cents per cup. An ol’ fashion french press will be your best money-saving option and it offers all the flavor and richness you enjoy in a store-bought coffee.
3. Eating out
This includes takeout, fast food, and yes, that ready-made lunch at your local supermarket counts too. A budgeting app such as Mint can clue you in on just how much money you’re blowing on dining out. Hint: It’s a lot!
4. Costco or Sam’s Club membership
Don’t get me wrong. Costco can save you a lot of money, IF you actually do most of your shopping there. Otherwise you’re probably not using its benefits to the fullest.
Save money and wait for your favorite movies to come out on Redbox (or Netflix).
6. Manicures and pedicures
It’s not difficult to do most nail designs yourself. At a creativity block? Pinterest, YouTube, and Instagram are all great sources for #nailspiration.
And if you don’t want to spend $8-10 on a bottle of polish (’cause c’mon who does?), check if there’s a beauty supply in your area that’s open to the public. You can usually get a bottle of nail polish for under $1. The dollar store is another thrifty option.
7. Hair salon visits
Ask a trusty friend (or your mom) to help you redo your roots and touch-ups. Just be sure to return the favor!
8. Wax hair removal treatments
It isn’t difficult to do wax hair removal at home and it’s a tremendous money saver. Remember to pull the strips opposite the direction of hair growth and always allow the wax time to cool. A wax burn is not sexy.
Cable’s overrated. Hook your laptop to your television via an HDMI cable and watch many of your favorite shows online for free.
10. Netflix (If You’re Feeling Extra Frugal)
#frugallife #redboxandchill #youtubeandchill? #toofar?
11. Spotify or Other Music Streaming Services
Instead of paying for premium, settle for free. Want to listen to your favorite song without playing Spotify hop-scotch? Create a playlist with just that song. You’ll usually be able to listen to it.
12. Cellphone and Data Plan
Unless your job requires it, you probably don’t need an extensive plan. A smaller plan can save you hundreds every year and it’ll give you a reason to not to spend so much time on your phone when you’re out.
13. Magazine Subscriptions
Most magazines can be read online. This is one expenditure you definitely do not need. Same with newspapers.
14. Buying Produce You Can Grow/Regrow
Growing your own vegetables at home is amazing because not only does it save money, you and your family will be able to enjoy 100% organic and pesticide-free produce.
You don’t have to be an expert gardener or even have a large backyard in order to grow your own produce. According to LifeHacker, the seven easiest vegetables to grow for beginners are lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, green beans, and zucchini. For more information on growing your own vegetable garden, check out Home & Garden’s guide to planting your first garden.
15. Bottled water
Water bottles are horrible for the environment and a totally unnecessary purchase. Save money and protect the earth with a water filter and reusable bottles. I highly recommend getting an insulated thermos and personalizing it with preppy stickers!
16. Things you don’t need
This is easier said than done when those shoes are literally begging to come home with you. Here are some questions to ask yourself before making a purchase:
- Will I wear/use this in 6 months?
- Is it multi-functional?
- Would someone readily take it off my hands if decide to sell it?
- Is this something I actually need?
A good psychological trick to play on yourself is to carry your beloved item with you as if you intend to buy it. For most people, just carrying the item around is enough to let it go.
You can also consider the item’s cost in terms of how much groceries it can buy, what bills it can go towards, future travel, etc.
17. High end makeup
Find drug-store alternatives to your favorite products that won’t have you sacrificing your budget or makeup quality. For reference, check out SELF’s Drugstore Dupes from Beauty Editors.
18. Processed foods
When you purchase processed food, you’re essentially paying for sugar, salt, and calories. Make your money go further by making your own homemade snacks. Some of my favorite healthy snacks and beverages to make at home include:
- Vegetable chips such as kale, zucchini, and sweet potatoes
- Potato wedges
- Protein cereal bars
- Arnold Palmer
- Smoothie bowls
- Matcha lattes
Hopefully after reading this, you’ve found ways to save money for what really matters. Is there anything you’ve cut out of your budget that saved you a ton of money? Leave a comment down below!